Paul Derby

MD Helicopters has emerged from its purchase of Boeing's civil helicopter line with a flood of orders, making its debut appearance at Paris a positive affair.

The company comes to the show fresh from the sale of 14 helicopters to customers in Latin America and sales of nine machines to four separate European customers.

It's a far cry from the 'limbo' period when the US Government's Federal Trade Commission blocked the sale of the MD500 and 600 lines to Bell Helicopter last year, throwing the future of the entire civil programme into question.

The Mexican navy has ordered eight MD Explorers, while the Colombian police have bought two MD530Fs. The Electric Power Authority of Puerto Rico has also taken two MD530Fs.

Latin American orders are completed by two single unit deals - one with Mexican television station Televisa for an MD Explorer and one with Jupiter Aviation Services for an MD600N.

"We have buyers for everything we can make," says MD sales director Clark Wirthlin. "Customers recognise that we have a great product line now backed by a company that is committed to their success."

MD is also expanding its European presence as sales to four nations confirm. Three MD Explorers are going to the state police of Lower Saxony in Germany and another two are destined for police aviation services in the UK.

The Belgian Gendarmerie has committed to taking two MD520Ns and Fuchs Helicopters of Switzerland has ordered a further two MD520Ns.

Source: Flight Daily News